Gee, it’s great to see that some of NOW’s interns have it so well (The Mail, 6/27 & 7/4). It’s fascinating to note that in her letter, AnitaMarie Murano has had such a fantastic experience at NOW that she assumes that every internship in Washington and at NOW offers the same opportunities. From her lofty experiences she somehow manages to conclude that every internship in D.C. or at NOW could be as stellar if only each intern “makes” something of it.

An interesting, conservative “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” analysis coming from someone who interned at a feminist organization that battles for equality; I hardly believe all other women in summer internships are treated as accommodatingly as she was at NOW. In fact, many try and try again to “make something” of their internship but are unable to due to the constraints

of the organization or what their supervisor will allow. Her view is incredibly skewed in that she also assumes that just because NOW, and her supervisor there, was concerned with her education that every other intern there at that time (or in the past) was treated in kind or given the same opportunities.

I and many friends and acquaintances have served many horrible, abusive, and torturous hours interning for organizations that promise glory but deliver 98 percent grunt work. If anything, a D.C. internship teaches people about much of the nonprofit work world: huge egos, fruitless lobbying, self-aggrandizement on C-SPAN, creating or not solving problems to finance their exorbitant salaries, hypocrisy in treating employees, and how little good many actually do.

I’m glad Murano was fortunate enough to avoid all that. I too have recently been lucky enough to work for a nonprofit that I believe treats interns very well and is an honest, effective organization. But I don’t have the arrogance to state that every intern there at any time was treated wonderfully and had a rewarding, educational experience. In fact, I have not even met all the interns there.

Many other people interning in D.C., and someone else at NOW, weren’t quite as lucky as were Ms. Murano and myself.

Cleveland Park

via the Internet

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